Associated Press

Stanford upends No. 6 USC, Pac-12 championship race

9 Comments

The latest in a series that continually zigs when when many think it will zag, Stanford upset No. 6 USC 41-31 in the Los Angeles Coliseum, upending the Pac-12 race in the process.

The Cardinal, who could not have been more lethargic offensively in a 16-6 loss at Northwestern two weeks ago, sliced USC’s defense from stem to stern, accounting for 474 yards and 26 first downs on the night. Quarterback Kevin Hogan led the charge, completing 18-of-23 passes for 279 yards with two touchdowns and rushing seven times for 28 yards.

A second quarter rally proved crucial, as Stanford fought back from a 21-10 deficit by marching a combined 162 yards in drives that ended with a one-yard Redmound Wright run with 3:53 to go before the half and a 17-yard strike from Hogan to Devon Cajuste with just three seconds to go before the half.

USC reclaimed the lead with a one-yard toss from Cody Kessler to Steven Mitchell, Jr., but Stanford retook and then added to its lead with a pair of one-yard Wright plunges. Alex Wood pulled USC back within 38-31 with 9:19 to go, but Stanford methodically moved 52 yards over the next 6:52, setting Conrad Ukropina up for a 46-yard field goal with 2:27 remaining.

USC’s last gasp ended with an incomplete Kessler pass on 4th-and-13 at the Stanford 23-yard line with four seconds to play.

Kessler completed 25-of-32 throws for 272 yards with three touchdowns and no picks, and a host of Trojans combined to rush 28 times for 155 yards, but timeliness was an issue for the USC attack. After scoring touchdowns on three of its first four touches, USC managed only one more touchdown on its six remaining possessions.

In the end, it’s another loss as a favorite for USC, and the sixth Stanford win in the clubs’ last nine meetings, dating back to the Cardinal’s landmark 24-23 upset of the then-No. 1 Trojans in 2007.

In the end, it leaves one to wonder: who is the real Stanford team, the one that beat USC or the one that lost to Northwestern? Will USC ever be “back” under Steve Sarkisian? What does this mean for the Pac-12 race? If one thing is certain in the Pac-12, it’s that nothing at all is certain.

Second ex-Baylor football player arrested for 2013 gang rape

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Leave a comment

For the second time in as many days, a former Baylor football player has been arrested for his connection to an alleged gang rape in 2013., according to The Dallas Morning NewsMyke Chatman, a former Baylor running back, was arrested Thursday by U.S. Marshals for suspected gang rape of a female Baylor student one day after former Baylor teammate Tre'Von Armstead was arrested and charged for the same incident.

Chatman and Armstead had previously been suspected of rape in 2013 but no charges were dropped at the time after the alleged victim chose not to pursue legal action against the football players. The woman filed charges against Baylor University in January and has since reached a settlement with the university. However, information from the lawsuit led to more information being revealed and shared with the authorities to contribute to ongoing investigations since these issues have been brought back to life in recent years.

Armstead was arrested for the second time this month, with the most recent arrest related to this 2013 incident. Earlier in March, Armstead was arrested for domestic battery, resisting arrest and damaging a police vehicle.

Report: LSU DL Isaiah Washington ruled ineliegible for spring

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sophomore defensive end Isaiah Washington has been ruled ineligible for the spring practice season at LSU, according to Ross Dellenger of The Advocate.

Washington was a four-star recruit in LSU’s Class of 2015. The New Orleans native appeared in six games for the Tigers as a freshman. Washington did not play in the 2016 season due to a knee injury suffered in the summer. He was slated to be a backup linebacker and defensive end in 2016 prior to the injury. It is expected to be a backup option for LSU’s defensive line with all four starters back this season.

Ex-Baylor player Sam Ukwuachu has sexual assault conviction overturned by appeals court

Jerry Larson/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP
1 Comment

Former Baylor and Boise State football player Sam Ukwuachu has had his conviction for sexual assault overturned, but he is far from free just yet. The 10th Couth of Appeals in Texas overturned a sexual assault conviction on Thursday and is sending the case back to district court for a brand new trial.

The Court of Appeals determined phone evidence used by the prosecution was improperly used and attained.

“In six issues, Ukwuachu complains that the trial court erred by allowing the State to reference the cell phone records of his roommate during its cross-examination of his roommate and his roommate’s friend, that the indictment was defective, that evidence of an extraneous offense was improperly admitted, that his due process rights were violated due to an abuse of the grand jury process by the State, and that text messages between the victim and a friend of hers the night of the alleged offense were improperly excluded,” an elaborate ruling from the Court of Appeals explained. “Because we find that the trial court erred by disallowing the admission of evidence … we reverse the judgment of conviction and remand this proceeding for a new trial.”

“While I respect the 10th Court of Appeals, I disagree with their decision and reasoning in this case,” McLennan County District Attorney Abelk Reyna said upon learning of the appeal decision. “I am extremely confident in the decisions made by our prosecutors and the rulings made by Judge Johnson in the trial of this case.”

Ukwuachu transferred from Boise State to Baylor after being dismissed by the Broncos program in 2013, reportedly following a case of depression in Boise. Boise State denied any knowledge of Ukwuachu’s violence toward women when he was with the program, which was prompted by comments from former Baylor head coach Art Briles. Former Boise State head coach Chris Petersen did claim to have informed Briles of Ukwuachu’s violent past.

Ukwuachu was found guilty and sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation for rape in August 2015.

The alleged victim of Ukwuachu has already settled a lawsuit with Baylor.

Arkansas state senate votes to revise concealed gun law to prevent guns in football stadiums

Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images
1 Comment

One day after Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill to allow concealed guns to be carried into football stadiums, the state senate voted to make an exemption to block guns on game day.

The house bill that was signed into law by the governor this week would have allowed those with proper training to be allowed to bring a concealed handgun into an otherwise restricted area such as a football stadium. The bill overruled any stadium policies banning weapons as well, but that will no longer be the case.

According to the Associated Press, the Arkansas state senate voted 22-10 in favor of an exemption to the rule that would uphold a weapons ban in football stadiums throughout the state. The law will still allow those with the proper training to carry a concealed handgun on college campuses, in bars and government buildings, but football stadiums are off limits.

The amended bill still must pass through the House of Representatives in Arkansas.